Two-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves was on hand in Des Moines last week at a press conference to promote the Iowa Corn Indy 250 race slated to run June 22 at Iowa Speedway at Newton. Last season's inaugural Iowa Corn Indy 250 race drew 35,000 fans to Iowa Speedway and became the IndyCar Series' second-most watched TV event of the season - trailing only the Indy 500.
Race car driver Castronveves had good things to say about ethanol, used last year to fuel race cars on the IndyCar circuit. Every car in every Indy Racing League race last year ran on 100% ethanol, with good results, noted Castroneves. "In its first year of 100% ethanol fuel, the IndyCar Series reduced fuel consumption and maintained horsepower – supporting what Iowa's corn growers have been saying for more than 30 years about ethanol."
Runs well in race cars and your car, too
Powering an IndyCar Series car at nearly 200 miles per hour is no small task. Doing it with a smaller engine and saving more than 20,000 gallons of fuel in the first year is monumental. Approaching the second year of running on 100% ethanol, the IndyCar Series is proud to report that the switch from methanol to ethanol was seamless.
A recent racing Web site writes, "both on-track and off-track transition was a success. From the first lap of preseason testing to the checkered flag at the season finale, ethanol performed flawlessly."
According to Les Mactaggart, Indy Racing League senior technical director, the switch to ethanol was a reflection of the Indy Series' confidence in its performance and the 2007 season proved this confidence was not misplaced.
Unique process squeezes food, fuel from corn
As the Indy Series Cars speed by during the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on June 22, spectators will not only see the power and performance of 100% ethanol, but they can rest assured the fuel produced to power those cars is not increasing their grocery store bill. In fact, the fuel for the 2008 racing season is provided by LifeLine Foods, which uses unique energy recovery practices to squeeze both food and fuel from every corn kernel. One portion of the kernel is processed and marketed to the food industry, while the remainder of the corn kernel is used for cattle feed and energy needs.
"The IndyCar Series has proved what we've been saying for more than 30 years," says Tim Recker, president of Iowa Corn Growers Association and a corn grower from northeast Iowa. "If the IndyCar Series can use 100% ethanol with smaller engines, cranked up horsepower on less fuel, then you should use ethanol blends everyday. The 2008 fuel sponsor of this race also supports our ability to feed and fuel the world. I encourage everyone to see ethanol's power and performance first-hand during the 2008 Iowa Corn Indy 250."
For more information about the Iowa Corn Indy 250, contact Iowa Corn at 515-225-9242 or e-mail [email protected].